Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthJanuary 1, 1896
Place of BirthSandstone, Minnesota
CountryUSA
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs RW (Justina) Mullin, mother, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingPainter
ReligionPresbyterian
Service Details
Regimental NumberA39413
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 30, 1975
Age at Death79
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
Plot28E-17-2

Steinke, Daniel Ernest

Although a birth record was not found, by most accounts Daniel Ernest Steinke was born on 1 January 1896 in Sandstone, Minnesota. He was the son of Julius Steinke and Justina Pitt, both likely from Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. The couple, along with infant son Carl August who was born in 1889 in Hamburg, immigrated to the United States in 1890. They left Hamburg aboard the Gellert on 9 November for New York. They lived for a while in Atlantic City, New Jersey where son Otto Louis was born on 22 August 1891. It appears that the family first settled in the Winona area of Minnesota before moving north to Sandstone and the birth of Daniel. The marriage failed and ended in divorce, with Julius marrying widow Agnes (Aye) Schwertel in 1900. Agnes had at least four children from her first marriage, Charles, Rose, Christina, and Hilda, and together they would have four more, Anton, Luella, Martin, and Gertrude, the latter two likely dying in early childhood. Julius and Agnes farmed for a number of years in the Township of Buffalo in Wisconsin near Fountain City before moving back to Winona in later years, the communities close together with both straddling the border.

Likely in Minnesota, at some point Daniel’s mother married Robert William Mullin. From Canada, Robert had been living in or near Duluth by the time of the 1895 Minnesota census and by the time of the 1910 US census he was working on his own account as a tanner in the Waldo Township north of Duluth. With him were Justina and Daniel, the census indicating that Justina had given birth to four children but one had died. Shortly after the census the family moved to Kenora, Ontario, having given birth to daughter Elsie.

With occupation given as painter, date of birth as 1 January 1895, and his mother Mrs RW Mullin as next of kin, Daniel signed his attestation paper in Kenora on 7 June 1915 with the 52nd Battalion. At the time he assumed the surname of Mullin. He was struck off strength as a deserter on 19 August in Kenora, with final discharge on 10 September in Port Arthur.

On 31 May 1917, in Superior, Wisconsin, Daniel signed his US WW1 Draft Registration card, date of birth given as 1 January 1896. At the time he was living in Superior, working as a boilermaker helper for the Great Northern Railway at Kelly Lake in Minnesota. Although his surname was given as Steinke on the card, Daniel signed it as Mullin. Daniel’s brother Carl signed his registration card on 5 June 1917 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. At the time his was delivering oil for the Interstate Oil Company. His brother Otto signed his card on 31 May 1917 in Marmarth, Slope, North Dakota. Married, he was working as a locomotive engineer for the Chicago Milwaukee St Paul Railway. It is not known if any of the brothers served overseas during the war.

By the time of the 1920 US census Daniel was living in Marmarth, North Dakota where he was working as a locomotive fireman and lodging with widow Amanda Cooper and her children. By the time of his stepfather’s death in 1939 in Kenora, Daniel was also living in the area. Over the years he worked for the Ontario-Minnesota Pulp and Paper Company as a cook in various bush camps and also on the O-M boats on Lake of the Woods.

On 29 May 1942, in International Falls, Minnesota, Daniel signed his WW2 Draft Registration card. At the time he was living in Kenora, no employer given. Although his mother Justina was still living in Kenora, on the card the person who would always know him was given as Jim Fox of Kenora.

According to his obituary, by 1961 Daniel was living in the Pinecrest Home for the Aged in Kenora. He died on 30 June 1975 at Pinecrest. At the time he was survived by his half sisters Luella Boll of Winona and Elsie Vanasse of Kenora and his half brother Anton in Winona. He was predeceased by his father Julius in 1943 (interred in the Fountain City Cemetery), his brother Otto in 1942 in a railway accident in Mobridge, South Dakota (Greenwood Cemetery, Mobridge), his mother Justina in 1955 (Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora), brother Carl in 1964 in Two Rivers, Wisconsin (Holy Cross Cemetery, Mishicot, Wisconsin). Daniel is interred with his mother in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora, his grave unmarked.

By Judy Stockham

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